“Psychologists have found a link between gratitude and well being. Studies have shown that when a person is depressed, anxious, negative and directionless, they can take control of these emotions and begin to turn them around themselves through a daily practice of finding things to be grateful for in their everyday life. The practice of gratitude literally has the capacity to rewire our brains, firing off more of our feel good emotions and thinking patterns. It helps us to remember who we are, what makes us happy, and where we want to go in life.
Conversely, when we focus on complaints, unhappiness and wrongs in our lives, we generate more feelings of inadequacy, anger, frustration, depression and resentment. None of those energies are good for our health and well being. It also makes us less fun to be around. ” (Cody, 2013).
In a stuck moment it is hard to see positive forces when obstacles are blaring and fears are looming. This is a good time to be grateful. Not grateful for what has us stuck, but appreciating what doesn’t. Gratitude helps us see our situation in a way that can lesson panic, and could open our thinking to new solutions.
People aren’t hard wired to be grateful. Any skill worth having requires practice.
A Dr Robert Emmons suggests there are three stages to practicing gratitude – recognizing what you are grateful for, acknowledging what you are grateful for, and appreciating what you are grateful for.
The benefits of practicing gratitude can be life altering.
Gratitude puts situations into perspective. When we see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain and get stuck. Gratitude helps us realize what we have. This can lessen our need for wanting more all the time. Gratitude strengthens relationships, improves health, reduces stress and in general makes us happier.
9 Ways to Practice Gratitude
1. Notice your day to day world from a point of view of gratitude and be amazed at all the goodness we take for granted. The following video can get you in the right frame of mind. A Good Day from TED
2. Keep a gratitude journal. All it takes is noting one or more things you are grateful for on a daily basis. No fancy notebook, no computer program required.
3. If you identify something or someone with a negative trait, switch it in your mind to a positive trait. ( eg it is a cold room to it is a room filled with people I really like).
4. Gratitude requires humility which means you need to be modest and respectful.
5. Give at least one complement a day. It can be to a person or it can be asking someone to share your appreciation of something else.( eg I love how quiet it is in the morning, don’t you?)
6. When you find yourself in a bad situation ask: What can I learn? When I look back on this! without emotion! what will I be grateful for?
7. Vow not to complain, criticize , or gossip for a week. If you slip, keep working on it and keep going. Notice the amount of energy you were spending on negative thoughts and actions.
8. Sound genuinely happy to hear from people who call you on the phone. This can give the person you are speaking to a surprise and they can feel valued.
9. Become involved with something you are passionate about.
( SY Partners, 2013)
The above information is not my own it has been gathered from the sources below.
Cody, N (2013, December 21st). 30 Days of Gratitude to Change your life.Retrieved from Cauldrons and Cupcakes: http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/2012/07/17/30-days-of-gratitude-to-change-your-life/
SYPartners. (2013, December 21st). Unstuck, live better every day. Retrieved from Unstuck: http://www.unstuck.com/gratitude.com/gratitude.html